May 21, 2006


Darfur's Fleeting Moment (ANTHONY LAKE and FRANCIS FUKUYAMA, 5/21/06, NY Times)

Last Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the peace agreement and created a team to prepare for a peacekeeping mission that will take over from the African Union force in Darfur.

To seize the moment, the Bush administration should go beyond calling for urgency at the United Nations in planning a peacekeeping force. It should also give the government of Sudan a brief time in which to accept such a force. Sudan has said it would do so once there was a peace agreement, but has waffled in recent statements. It must be held to its words.

Mr. Bush should also now get ready the logistics, intelligence and headquarters assistance that the United States could provide to such a force. Showing we are prepared to act quickly should help persuade the United Nations to move smartly itself.

President Bush could join President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, who was instrumental in pushing through the peace agreement, in personally soliciting pledges of troops for a United Nations force. While NATO itself will not be accepted by the Sudanese government, why not include alliance members in a United Nations operation?

And Washington should make it clear that if Sudan refuses to accept a United Nations force, we will press NATO to act even without the consent of the Sudanese government — including a no-flight zone to ground the Sudanese aircraft that have provided support to the murderous janjaweed. And we would bring further sanctions to bear.

While recent sanctions by the United States and the United Nations against four Sudanese men involved in the genocide are a step in the right direction, far more expansive measures should be taken against the high-level propagators of genocide based in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, if they block a United Nations force. Beyond multilateral sanctions, the United States could work with countries where Sudanese officials have assets or hope to travel to impose penalties on them.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis grows more desperate. As the needs grow, money to meet them has dwindled. The World Food Program is halving daily rations to Darfurian refugees to a dangerous 1,050 calories a day. Unicef is being forced to scale back its operations, including its nutritional programs for children. The president has asked Congress to increase food aid to Sudan by $225 million. That request must be put on a fast track.

Poor Mr. Fukuyama, stuck arguing that the UN is a credible force, that NATO matters, and for sanctions, while at the same time recognizing that only the US can even possibly prod the institutions to do what they're morally obligated to and that aid stoppages are already killing people. What a mess you get your conscience into when you go all tansnationalist on us.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 21, 2006 9:24 AM

Does this mean history has been resurrected?

Posted by: erp at May 21, 2006 12:04 PM

Nope, just that he doesn't have the stomach to help folks get to its End.

Posted by: oj at May 21, 2006 12:11 PM

I wonder who's lost the plot more. The Fookster, Sully, or the fellow at Belgravia Dispatch, whose every post now is a call for Rummy to be hanged, drawn, and quartered for losng Iraq?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 21, 2006 2:30 PM


Francis is still reeling from being (Kraut-)Hammered a couple of months ago.

Sullivan must have organic damage.

Don't know what's wrong with Djeredian(?). Maybe he's just jealous of people like Michaels Yon and Totten, who have actually gone over there.

Posted by: ratbert at May 22, 2006 9:00 AM